How Can I Bond with my Dog During Bath Time?

by Maggie Marton March 13, 2017

How Can I Bond with my Dog During Bath Time?

Anytime you and your dog can have fun together, you’re building your bond. But there is actual science that backs up why bath time is a perfect time to create a stronger, happier bond with your pup.

Have you heard of the “love hormone,” oxytocin? It’s responsible for warm-fuzzies, for feeling happy and contented--in both you and your dog.

In a Scientific American recap of some of the recent research, they shared, “Spend time petting your dog, scratching Pluto’s body and ears, and you’re both apt to see increases in your plasma oxytocin levels, indicating a positive experience for you both.”

What better way to do that than in the bath?


As you rub-a-dub your sweet pup’s coat, use your the pads of your fingers to gently massage your dog’s muscles. Be sure to get behind her ears!

As you rinse product out of your dog’s fur, use the tips of your fingers to gently scratch in the direction of hair growth. It’ll help work the product out--key to fighting dry skin--while stimulating your dog’s senses. 


OK, the truth is, not all dogs love the bath, even if you’re working hard to massage up some good doses of oxytocin! Research also shows that food makes a dog happy, too (not that that research comes as a surprise to any dog lovers), so be sure to treat your dog for being a good boy in the tub!


Finally, when the bath is done and you’ve toweled off your dog, spend some time brushing out his coat or massaging in a finishing product. That extra physical touch will give you both a happiness boost that builds your bond.

Maggie Marton
Maggie Marton


Maggie Marton is a freelance writer based in Indianapolis. When not hiking with her two pit mixes, Emmett and Cooper, or playing with Newt the Cat, Maggie writes about them (and the pet industry) at and 

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